Return to the BUILD
In this issue, we will be adding the wooden deck to the Forecastle and attaching some detailing parts.
I am incredibly happy to finally be building a large-scale metal partwork model of the RMS Titanic! While the supplied (stock) parts are OK, I will probably be doing a few modifications (mods) along the way. There is a ton of information online, so my plan is to get closer to the best accuracy, colors, and other details as I go.
Materials: Here I will describe the materials that the supplied parts in each issue are made out of. All of the screws are metal, so I will not mention them here. For instance, in this issue, the Wooden Deck is a thin wood veneer, but everything else is plastic.
NOTE: These magazines all have special curved staples that allows them to be stored in standard 2-ring binders.
- Giant of the Sea – The Titanic Tragedy
- A Date with Destiny – Edward Smith, the Captain
- Giant of the Sea – A Mountain of Steel (Part I)
- Edwardian Era – The Golden Age of Ocean Liners
- Step-by-Step Instructions
Four-Page Foldout Poster (click image for larger version)
Describes the model with pictures, and details all of the various features and functions:
Digital Instructions (click image to download)
Agora Models also consolidated the printed build instructions for Pack 1 (Issues 1 – 4) into a single digital PDF file:
IMPORTANT: Replacement stock parts for Issue 1 (this issue) and Issue 13 will be included with Issue 13. These new parts will been supplied in more accurate colors. If you plan on using any of the affected parts listed below in this issue, I recommend not to glue any of them into place yet. Since I am repainting many of these parts on my build anyway, I will go ahead with the original parts included in this issue:
Before I received the first pack of this build, I knew I was going to modify a few things. Since the photographs taken of Titanic before she sank were in black and white, there is ongoing debate among historians as to the actual color of many of her components. I did a bit of research and have come to the conclusion that I am indeed going to use my acrylics paints on my Titanic build to hopefully be more realistic. The colors I chose may not be perfect but a close enough approximation, and how I feel Titanic might have looked back in 1912. Please feel free to use any colors you’d like, it is your model!
NOTE: I am aware of the highly-detailed KA MK1, Scaledecks, and Woody’s Model Shop kits designed for the Trumpeter Titanic plastic model in the same 1/200 scale, but I am trying to keep my costs down. Instead, I will be using some simpler mods from our wonderful partwork community.
TIP: You can find a listing of all the paints, markers, and washes I use on my model at The Colors page.
Vallejo Navy Colors Titanic Set
As part of their Navy Color Series, Vallejo created a Model Air Titanic Colors Paint Set specifically for Titanic scale modelers. While it seems that this set is becoming harder to find, it does contain acrylic paint colors appropriate to the ship. I will be using a few of the eight colors included in this set:
- 71.270 Off-White – On my model, this will be a contrasting white used for things like canvas covers, vent interiors, etc.
- 71.288 UK BSC 64 Portland Stone – Typically used where wood decking is found, but we have real wood deck to work with. Likely won’t need this.
- 71.078 Yellow RLM04 – Typically used for the sheer line between the white and black hull and the hull lettering. Likely won’t need this.
- 71.443 Faded Yellow – Typically used for ‘light mast’ colored parts such as the funnels, engines, etc.
- 71.442 Anti-Fouling Red – Typically used for the lower part of the hull, propeller caps, wing bosses.
- 71.027 Light Brown – Typically used for interior surfaces. Likely won’t need this.
- 71.444 Wood Deck – This is the paint I will use for ‘dark mast’ colored parts such as the window frames, masts, well deck dadoes, hatch frames, etc.
- 70.057 Black – Typically used for rigging, winches/drums, deck waterways, main hull, and top of the funnels. We might need this.
Painting the Stock Parts
The stock Breakwaters are supplied in a grey color, which is incorrect. As I mentioned earlier, Agora/Hachette will be providing replacement parts for these in white with Issue 13. I wanted to get started on my build now, so I just airbrushed both of my stock grey Breakwaters with Vallejo Model Air 71.001 White to better match the pre-painted hull and superstructure:
These three stock parts are supplied in a white color. However, on the real Titanic, the Air Vent (Square) (1G) part was actually a canvas-covered rack containing a metal wire/cable reel. We figured a nice off-white color might look like ‘mostly-new’ canvas, so we painted it with Vallejo Model Air 71.270 Off-White acrylic paint.
We also painted the recessed interior of the round Ventilation Duct (1I) cowl and the flat underside of the Air Vent (Rounded) (1F) with the same off-white paint to give their ‘openings’ the appearance of being in shadow:
These stock parts are painted in a silver color. However, I feel the Steam Winches were actually green (like most steam-powered equipment of the time). I decided to go with a medium green on mine, so I airbrushed them with Vallejo Game Air 72.729 Sick Green acrylic paint. This may seem like a fairly bright green at this point, but it will be toned down once the matte varnish topcoat is added later on:
I then hand-painted the four windlasses (horizontal rollers) of each Steam Winch using Vallejo Model Air 71.054 Dark Grey Blue. I enjoy contrast when using colors and this is a nice mix of the two possible colors:
Using some Vallejo Model Air 71.054 Dark Grey Blue paint, we hand-painted the bow well for the third anchor and the small ridge behind it. We used a paint brush for this to make the well look slightly used and uneven. I chose this color as it is not quite pure black, but more of a grey-blue black and looks a bit more naval and weathered:
For the remaining Forecastle details, I decided to not use the stock parts. Instead, I wanted to upgrade their appearance using the amazing RMS Titanic Pack 1 set from Model Modz. Available in painted or unpainted versions, these 3D printed parts are highly detailed and are more accurate to the real Titanic. As the first of many Titanic partwork upgrades from Model Modz, this first pack contains many upgraded parts including: the Loading (Cargo) Hatch, Capstans, Bitts (Bollards), Small Skylight, and Steam Valves. I wanted to customize my paint scheme, so I chose the unpainted version:
To began the painting process of these new parts, I first airbrushed everything in the kit with a base coat of Vallejo Surface Primer Black 73.602. This helps smooth out and seal the 3D print layers and creates a nice surface for the next color layer. In case you are wondering about the little ‘stands’ here, these are just toothpicks stuck in Styrofoam with some balls of Blu Tack holding the pieces in place:
Loading Hatch/Small Skylight
As with the stock Breakwaters, I airbrushed the new Loading Hatch and Small Skylight with the same Vallejo White paint:
As the Capstans on the real ship were also steam-powered equipment and surely would have matched the winches, I painted these new Capstans in the same Sick Green color as the Steam Winches.
NOTE: The stock Capstans provided with the model are white in this issue and the replacement parts coming in Issue 13 are silver with brass tops.
The Capstans on Titanic were built by Napier Brothers Ltd. of Glasgow and are known to have a brass top cover. Therefore, I topped my Capstans using a Metallic Gold Sharpie:
The four Steam Valves (which controlled the Capstans) would have been brass on the real ship. The stock parts provided with the model in this issue are white, which is incorrect. The replacement parts coming in Issue 13 do appear to be a more accurate yellow, however, I painted my new Model Modz Steam Valves with Vallejo Model Air 71.067 Bright Brass acrylic paint to better represent the true color:
Loading Hatch Coming/Bollards
I hand-painted the forward three sides of the combing (the vertical walls of the Loading Hatch) with Vallejo Model Air 71.054 Dark Grey Blue paint. Many historians believe that since this was a non-passenger area, it would not have been painted in the ‘Dark Mast’ orange color like the well deck walls:
I did not paint the rear surface of the combing on my Loading Hatch as it would likely match the white color of the Breakwaters from the passenger’s point of view:
Using the same Vallejo Dark Grey Blue, I also airbrushed the six new Bitts (Bollards) from the Model Modz pack:
Protecting the Paintwork
Finally, I protected all of this paintwork (both the stock and modified parts) with a top coat of clear Vallejo Matte Varnish 70.520. After waiting for this finish to dry, we could get started on this issue!
Check the fitment of the Wooden Deck for the Forecastle to the Deck Support Panel, then carefully remove the backing paper from the Wooden Deck.
This Wooden Deck is to be attached to the upper smooth side of the Deck Support Panel, as shown. Be gentle when handing this Wooden Deck – if it is bent too much, the wood may splinter or snap off between the planks. This picture shows the adhesive underside of the Wooden Deck:
Secure the Wooden Deck to the Deck Support Panel, aligning all of the holes.
I found the adhesive on this decking to be slightly less sticky than I expected. Therefore, I sprayed the underside of the Wooden Deck with a light coat of 3M General Purpose 45 Spray Adhesive. This stuff is like rubber cement in a spray can and works very well. Do not apply too much!
I then gently aligned the Wooden Deck in place and pressed it down flat, as shown:
TIP: The parts in this step (and the remaining steps of this issue) are designed to simply press-fit into place. Because of this, be sure these parts are aligned correctly before installation as it may be difficult to remove them later. If the fitment is tight, you can gently sand down the pins with sandpaper sticks or enlarge the hole with a round needle file. If the fitment is loose (or if you break off a pin), use a tiny bit of super glue to secure the part in place.
Press the pins of the Anchor (1C) through the Wooden Deck and into the holes at this location of the Deck Support Panel.
Fun Fact: On the real Titanic, this part was a 1-ton Trotman’s stream (kedge) anchor. Kedging is the process of moving a ship by pulling it towards a fixed object – such as dropping an anchor like this, catching it on something, and then reeling in the anchor’s line.
NOTE: For now, I am not gluing any of these detail parts in place, nor pushing them all the way in. As these parts may need to be removed later on, I want to make sure I can get them out easily:
In the same way, press the pins of each of the three Steam Winches (1D) into the holes at these locations on the Deck Support Panel.
The pins of these winches are different sizes, so each one will only fit the correct way. Note how the varnish topcoat has darkened the green color:
Press the D-shaped pin of the Air Vent (Rounded) (1F) into the matching hole at this location on the Deck Support Panel:
Fun Fact: On the real Titanic, this vent led to a large electric fan mounted on the deck below that was used to ventilate the lower bow section decks:
In the same way, press the pins of the Air Vent (Square) (1G) into the hole at this nearby location on the Deck Support Panel.
Fun Fact: As I mentioned earlier, on the real Titanic, this part was not a vent at all – it was a canvas-covered reel for metal wire/cable.
Press the pins of the six (6) Bitts (Bollards) (1H) into the matching holes at these locations around the edge of the Deck Support Panel.
The pins of these Bitts are different sizes, so they will only fit one into the holes one way.
Fun Fact: In sailing, a ‘bollard’ is a vertical post for securing mooring/tug lines to. A ‘bitt’ is the term for a paired (double) set of bollards:
Press the pins of the Small Skylight (1E) into the holes at this location on the Deck Support Panel.
Fun Fact: On the real Titanic, this part was a skylight for the Crew’s Galley located below on C Deck (Shelter Deck):
Press the pin of the Ventilation Duct (1I) into the matching hole at this location on the Deck Support Panel.
Fun Fact: On the real Titanic, this part was the ventilation cowl for the same Crew’s Galley located on the deck below:
Press the pins of the port (left) Breakwater (1J) and starboard (right) Breakwater (1K) into the holes at this location on the Deck Support Panel.
TIP: The two Breakwater parts are not the same. The port Breakwater has three widely spaced pins while the starboard Breakwater has three pins, but two of them are closer together. Both should be installed with the top edge sloping down towards the outer edge of the deck, with the ‘ribs’ facing aft (to the rear).
Fun Fact: The purpose of a breakwater is the ‘break’ any water coming over the top of the bow and redirect it off the sides of the ship. This helps to keep the water from running back and down into the well deck behind the forecastle.
Apply a small amount of super glue to the posts of the Loading Hatch (1L) and fit it into the matching holes at this location on the Deck Support Panel between the Breakwaters, as shown.
As I mentioned before I did not glue this (or any other parts) down in place just yet. Luckily, most of these stay in place by friction alone. Based on the design of the deck/hatch, I believe this will be screwed down later on in the build:
Push the pins of the four (4) Steam Valves (1M) down into these holes of the Deck Support Panel, in front of the Loading Hatch.
There is an extra stock Steam Valve included in this issue as a spare in case you lose or damage one. However, these are my Model Modz valves:
Finally, push the pins of the four (4) Capstans (1N) down into these holes of the Deck Support Panel:
Now, that was a heck of a first issue! Not only is the Wooden Deck made of real wood, but all the small details really bring it to life. And, the upgraded parts from Model Modz add a whole other level of detail. I am also happy with my decision to add some paint work to this model to make it more interesting and hopefully, more accurate. We still have more to add to this forecastle, but that will happen in later issues. Keep this assembly safe for now!
Issue 2 – Port Hull Sections (Bow), Name Plate, Connecting Panel